History Of The First United Methodist
Church. . .
THE FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
WAYNESVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA
RESEARCHERS: Rubye Bryson (Mrs. Howard), Harriett Massie
(Mrs. Hugh), Aileen Moore (Mrs. Frank), Anne Mundy (Mrs. Carl),
Eleanor Sloan (Mrs. Ben) and Louise Sloan (Mrs. S. J.).
SOURCES: General Minutes, Holston Conference, Quarterly
Conference Minutes, Haywood County Register of Deeds, W. C.
Allen's "Annals of Haywood County," History of the First
Methodist Church by Mrs. W. A. Hyatt, members of the church
staff, the Stringfield Papers and R. H. Boone.
Compiled and written by Eleanor Sloan
This history of the First United Methodist Church in
Waynesville is presented by the History and Records Committee
in commemoration of the church's 150th anniversary.
It is written in tribute to
those brave pioneers, who
founded the church in 1831, and
to those faithful and dedicated
members who have given their
time and talents to help carry
out its mission during the past
An attempt to include the
names of all those whose work
has been an inspiration or to
include every event in the life of
the church from year to year
would require several volumes
and would be practically im-
However, it the hope of the
committee that reflection upon
the history of the church, its
heritage and its purpose and
progress over the years may
serve as a challenge for the
The history of the Waynesville First United Methodist Church
begins 150 years ago, in 1831, when the first mention is made in the
General Minutes of the Holston Conference of the Waynesville
Circuit in the Asheville District.
At that time William Eakin was the appointed preacher and
there were 478 white and 30 "colored" members on the circuit.
The minutes give no information as to the first congregation or
where services were held. In those days all reports of traveling
preachers (circuit riders) were given as a circuit with no individual
It is, however, known that Methodism came to this section with
the early pioneers who crossed the Blue Ridge Mountains seeking to
establish homes in a new land.
The country was young and so was Methodism. Until 1784
Methodism was a lay movement within the Church of England. But
when the final separation of the American Colonies from England
came in 1783, the idea of a new church was conceived. At a con-
ference held at Lovely Lane Chapel in Baltimore, Maryland, in
December, 1784 the Methodist Episcopal Church in America was
born and began its historic mission.
By this time a few early pioneers had settled and built homes
on Mount Pleasant, the ridge between Richland and Raccoon Creeks
which formed the nucleus of the Town of Waynesville.
Bishop Francis Asbury, John Wesley's famous assistant and
the first bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church ordained in
America, entered this area in 1810 and preached at the home of
Jacob Shook, located in what is now the Town of Clyde.
Shook, a devout Methodist, had come to this section in 1785 and
built a log cabin. By the turn of the century he moved his family into
a new home, said to be the first frame house built in the county, with
one room dedicated to the worship of God. The house still stands
and is designated as a historical spot by the Methodist Historical
Commission. The room for worship has been preserved as a
Additionally Shook gave a large tract of land for a camp ground
which became a rallying point for Methodists within a radius of
eighty miles. This certainly would have included the small village of
One historian writes:
For a long time in the early days the Baptist house of worship, built in 1823
on the right bank of Richland Creek, was the only one in Waynesville. Other
denominations held their services in Green Hill Academy, which was chartered
in 1809, or in the court house built at the corner of Main and East Streets in
Waynesville soon after Haywood County was erected in 1808.
At the time the county was formed Mount Pleasant was chosen
as the county seat and was renamed Waynesville.
METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH
The second reference to the Waynesville Circuit appears in the
Conference minutes for the year 1845. The circuit covered all of
Haywood County and half of Jackson County.
That year the Holston Conference became a part of the
Methodist Episcopal Church South after long and heated
discussions at the General Conference about the division of the
church into Northern and Southern Methodists.
The only Haywood appointments were for Waynesville and
Echota Mission (Indian) with John W. Thompson and Robert
Pickens in charge. There were "478 white and 30 colored members"
on the circuit.
The first record of the Methodist Church owning property is a
deed recorded in 1855 in the office of the Haywood County Register
of Deeds calling for one-half acre and one pole on Green Hill,
"together with all and singular houses, woods, waters, ways and
privileges thereto belonging."
The property was deeded to Peyton Almon, J. B. Fitzgerald, G.
L. Cunningham, William Grahl, S. W. Gaston and Joseph Rhinehart,
trustees of the Waynesville Methodist Church, Franklin District,
Holston Conference, by William Welch, William Johnston, J.
Cathey, A. C. Hargrove, W. G. B. Garrett, S. Fitzgerald, B. Turner
and John Killian, trustees of Green Hill Academy.
At this time Wiley F. Parker was the circuit preacher and
memebrs of the "societies" totaled 711 white and 35 "colored."
THE FIRST CHURCH BUILDING
After the acquisition of property the Methodists of
Waynesville erected their first house of worship — a small frame
building on Green Hill, the site of the present Green Hill Cemetery.
The building was used on alternate Sundays by the
Presbyterians and Episcopalians of the community and, later as a
token of appreciation for the use of the church, the Episcopal
congregation presented a pulpit Bible to the Methodist Church. The
The first church built by Methodists of Waynesville on a site acquired in 1855 on
Green Hill. The building was moved to Pigeon Street after a new church was built
and stands today as the A.M.E. Zion Church.
Bible occupies a place in the church today.
This building was also used as a school. W. W. Stringfield, a
church leader, wrote to the Asheville Citizen, in an undated letter:
The school under the patronage of our Methodist Church is a grand suc-
cess, with a fine faculty and over 100 pupils from four states and every county in
Western North Carolina. Board may be obtained in fine Christian homes at
from four to six dollars.
Another mission outgrowth of the church was Richland Chapel.
Through the interest of the women a Sunday School was started and
for many years was sponsored and staffed by church members.
The Waynesville Circuit was moved to the Franklin District in
Conference records for 1873 show there were 10 churches on
the Waynesville circuit with 657 members and 13 Sunday Schools
with an enrollment of more than 500 members. The churches were
valued at $4,000 and there was one parsonage valued at $600.
The Rev. W. M. Kerr was assigned to the circuit in 1874 and his
pastorate continued for four years. One of his major concerns was to
provide good literature for proper Sunday School organization.
At a quarterly meeting held at Bethel in 1877, the presiding
elder announced that only Waynesville and Richland Institute were
holding Sunday School due to "uncomfortable conditions of meeting
places and no special interest was manifested in religion because of
unprecedented cold weather."
The total collection for the circuit was $75.95, two dollars of
which went to the presiding elder and the rest to the circuit
Elected to fill vacancies on the board of trustees were Walter
Brown, S. J. Shelton, J. C. T. Gudger, W. E. Miller, W. W.
Stringfield, G. S. Ferguson, and W. M. Ayers.
WOMEN'S MISSIONARY SOCIETY
An important event in the life of the church occurred March 11,
1879, when the Waynesville Missionary Society was organized in
the home of Mrs. J. M. Tate. Officers elected were Mrs. E. E. Ed-
wards, president; Mrs. D. J. Ratcliffe, vice president; Mrs. J. K.
Boone, recording secretary; Mrs. W. W. Stringfield, corresponding
secretary; and Mrs. E. H. Bogle, treasurer.
Other charter members included Mrs. Tate, Mrs. Hazeltine
Brown Killian, Mrs. Scott Brown, who was also the first organist in
the church, Mrs. P. L. Turbyfill, Miss Corrie Kerr, Mrs. W. T. Lee,
Miss Emma Rhinehart, Mrs. M. H. Rogers, Mrs. S. J. Shelton, Mrs.
G. L. Ferguson, Mrs. R. D. Gilmer, Mrs. W. B. Ferguson, Mrs. B. F.
Smathers, Mrs. Emma Willis, and Mrs. W. L. Norwood.
The preacher, the Rev. E. H. Bogle, spoke to the group and
explained the purpose of the organization.
At the second meeting of the society, the women made
preparations for a district meeting at which the Rev. James Atkins,
who later became bishop, delivered the address. The group also paid
dues for the quarter amounting to $2.75.
Contributions for the first year of the organization totaled
From the time the Missionary Society was organized women
have played a vital role in the life of the church. Their purpose has
been to know God and to experience freedom as whole persons
through Jesus Christ. Their aim has been to help meet local needs
and participate in global ministries of the church.
Some concerns in the early years are reported in notes com-
piled by Mrs. Rufus Siler. Minutes for 1882 showed that $1 was sent
to a school for Seminole Indians and the group received letters each
month from missionaries in Brazil and Mexico. Dues were 10 cents a
At the December meeting in 1896 a letter was read from the
Conference president asking the local women to spend one-half as
much as they had planned to spend on Christmas and send the rest
to foreign missions. "We must not let the Lord's work suffer in
these hard times," she wrote.
The forerunner of the fellowship dinners of later years was the
first annual picnic held in 1886 at the home of Mrs. J. M. Tate.
A notation in 1897 describes a mass meeting, plans for which
did not include taking an offering. But by the request of the pastor
two little girls took baskets through the crowd and collected $5.
Some did not think that was much but others said "you do not know
how many souls that might save, so the meeting was not in vain."
Before the turn of the century the Methodist women met with
black Methodist women of Waynesville who wanted to organize a
society and instructed them on regulations and by-laws of the
organization. A later project was to help get water to Pigeon Street,
bed linen for Brevard College, and bedroom furnishings for the
parsonage at a cost of $30. A benefit dinner was served at the
courthouse which netted $28.40.
Members continued to help at Richland Chapel and reported
that the night school there was "doing much good." One young man
had decided to study for the ministry.
At another time the group joined Baptist women in petitioning
the mayor not to wash the Waynesville streets on Sunday.
The first meeting of the Women's Missionary Society in 1879.
And a meeting at the home of Mrs. Charles E. Ray in 192S.
THE CHURCH BECOMES A STATION
A milestone was reached in 1880 when the Waynesville church
with 182 white members was taken off the circuit and became a
station. This meant that the church was established as large enough
to have a minister assigned to one church, instead of being served
by a circuit rider.
The Rev. E. H. Bogle was assigned as the first minister at a
salary of $300 but "only $269 was collected the first year."
Stewards at the time were J. K. Boone, S. J. Shelton and G. A.
Love. Class leaders were William Fincher and A. M. Ratcliffe and
trustees were Walter Brown, J. M. Davis and H. M. Rogers.
A NEW CHURCH
By the late 1870's it had become evident that the congregation was
outgrowing the small frame building and plans for a new building
were being considered.
In 1878 the trustees submitted a plan for a new church to the
quarterly conference, and the plan was approved. A subscription
book was procured by the Rev. William M. Kerr, the preacher in
charge, and members of the church made pledges to be payable in in
one, two or three years from the first of October, 1878. About $1800
was pledged for the erection of a new church on a lot on Haywood
Street purchased in 1859 from Alfred Rich and wife, Martha, for
Named to serve on the building committee were W. Brown, J.
K. Boone, E. P. Hyatt, W. E. Miller and M. M. Davis. The committee
appointed S. J. Shelton to superintend the erection of the church
and in July 1880, he began making the brick for the building at a cost
of $700. The actual construction began in the spring of 1881.
WORK IS SLOW
After the walls were about two-thirds the height of the win-
dows, in December, 1881, work was suspended until the spring of
1882. During the spring and fall of 1882 the walls were finished, the
roof was framed and about five feet of shingles were put on each
side. Then, again, work was suspended until 1883.
J. K. Boone was appointed superintendent of the work in
August, 1883, succeeding S. J. Shelton, who had resigned. Work on
the building was resumed and continued until the brick work on the
tower and gables was complete, the roof finished and the floor laid.
Then in December that year work was suspended again.
Finally in April, 1884, work was resumed and continued until
the building was completed August 20, 1884, at a total cost of $4,500.
The church was dedicated Sunday, August 24, 1884 by Bishop
Hargrove. The Rev. W. Simpson was the preacher in charge and
there were 186 members.
The brick building with a bell tower and steeple contained a
sanctuary and two Sunday School rooms, one on each side of the
vestibule. Other Sunday School classes met in the sanctuary in
groups separated by portable curtains.
Roberts H. Boone, who was born in 1896, described the church
as he remembers it:
We children sat with our mother (Mrs. J. K. Boone) near the front of the
church. There was a big pot-bellied stove near the middle aisle with one long
bench in front. Two short benches were by the side of the stove and then there
were long benches. We sat on the short benches.
The choir sat in the right hand corner of the sanctuary on benches facing
the pulpit and the amen corner was on the left.
We had a good choir and everybody liked to sing. At one time there was an
orchestra. Mrs. W. L. Matney played the organ, Miss Margaret Stringfield
played the violin, Jerry Davis played the clarinet and Will Farmer played the
trumpet. My sister, Mary, directed the choir.
From the first time I can remember until his death in 1912, my father, John
K. Boone, was superintendent of the Sunday School and led the singing, too.
Some of the old gospel songs I especially remember are left out or changed in
the new hymnals.
There were two small Sunday School rooms, one on each side of the en-
trance. In the room on the left Miss Annie Shelton taught the beginners class.
The room on the right had the stairs leading to the bell tower and in it Mrs.
Hilda Way Gwyn taught the primary class. In the main church, E. P. Martin
taught the boys, John Queen taught the young men and Professor E. J. Robeson
taught the men's class.
Ernest Withers and R. H. Blackwell were the best of ushers, who shook
hands and greeted the people each Sunday.
Over the years we had many revival services to raise the spiritual level of
the church. I remember so well a revival during the pastorate of the Rev. M. F.
Moores. The crowd was so big, the services were moved to the school
The Epworth League was a great help to the young people. In the services
we learned to stand up before a group and speak about the work of the
organization. This experience started many of us in the work of the church as
Sunday School teachers and leaders in other work.
Soon after the Lake Junaluska Assembly was organized, the Rev. 0. P.
Ader took a group of young people to a meeting there. We went on the train
from Waynesville to Lake Junaluska. It cost 10 cents from Waynesville to the
Lake and a round trip ticket was 15 cents. Six passenger trains came into
Waynesville at that time.
Other adult members of the church today remember the
Christmas programs that involved children of all ages.
There was always a warm fire in the big stove and a big Christmas tree
with candles. The younger children recited poems — sometimes with promp-
ting — and the older youth were cast in manger scenes. S. C. Liner, who was
gifted at building, constructed the stage settings, that included 'real life' angels
suspended from the ceiling to hover over the manger.
After the program Santa Claus arrived with bags of nuts, candy and an
Most people walked to church, sometimes on sidewalks made slippery by
snow. The trip was always longer going home.
In the hot summer time there was always a bucket of cool water with a
handy dipper by a bench under a big oak tree at the side of the church. The rest
room was outside in the rear of the church.
FRAME BUILDING MOVED
After the new brick church was completed, the first little frame
building was moved from Green Hill to Pigeon Street where it
serves today as Jones Temple, A.M.E. Zion Church.
THE DECADE OF THE 1880s
During the decade of the 1880s, names of the same church
members appear again and again in conference records as they
assume various responsibilities of leadership and many of their
descendants are leaders and dedicated members of the church
In 1881 A. M. Ratcliffe, Jr., W. W. Stringfield, G. A. P. Long and
S. J, Shelton were delegates to the district conference in Franklin
and Stringfield was given the responsibility of collecting $65.50
from the Waynesville Station for the purpose of discharging a debt
against the district parsonage at Franklin.
W. W. Stringfield also served as a delegate to General Con-
ferences in Richmond, Va., Atlanta, Ga., and Knoxville, Tenn.
J. K. Boone was recording steward and was also elected Sunday
School superintendent. The preacher was W. A. Thomas.
A report by church trustees in 1883 stated, "We hold in trust
for the church property consisting of the old property on Green Hill
now used for school purposes, the new church property on Church
Street and the parsonage. The property on the hill is in tolerable
good repair. The new church (incomplete) and lot are worth about
$3,000 with a mortgage of $500."
Mrs. Mary Tate and her husband, J. M. Tate, gave a lot for a
parsonage in 1885, "in consideration of the love we have for the
church and from our earnest desire to promote its heritage on earth,
in trust that the premises be maintained as a place of residence for
the use and occupancy of the preachers of the Methodist Episcopal
Church South, who from time to time may be appointed."
Another deed recorded in 1889 from Mary Tate and J. M. Tate
called for one tract of land deeded to the church trustees for $150.
Prior to that time a lot "for the benefit of the parsonage" was
given to the church in 1876 by R. G. A. Love.
The church membership had increased to 197 by 1886. At that
time, the pastor, the Rev. J. C. Orr, reported to the quarterly
conference, "Some members are punctual and regular at church,
upright in life and character and showing the beauties and ex-
cellences of Christianity, while some are so unguarded in their lives
as to do things which bring reproach instead of honor upon the cause
An important event came in 1890 when the Waynesville station
became a part of the Western North Carolina Conference formed
from portions of the North Carolina and Holston Conferences. The
station remained in the Franklin District with the Rev. G. W.
Jackson as the preacher. Assessments were $612 for the preacher,
$88 for the presiding elder and $8 for the bishop.
An Epworth League was organized in 1896.
Another change came when the Waynesville District was
formed in 1899. Membership of the churches in the district totaled
The Waynesville First Methodist Church had 228 members in
1900 and the pastor, the Rev. J. E. Abernathy, received a salary of
$622.43. There was much discussion on methods of collecting funds.
In those days it was customary to give new preachers and their
families a "pounding" at which church members brought gifts of
food and other items to make up for lack of money.
Around the turn of the century a decision was reached to build
a district parsonage on Hamer Avenue in Waynesville, and the local
church was expected to pay about one-third the cost.
A NEW CENTURY
Electricity came to Waynesville early in the 20th century and
brought with it discussion among church members on ways and
means to raise funds to pay for electric lights and appliances in the
church. The women, under the direction of Mrs. R. D. Gilmer, raised
part of the needed amount by putting on a benefit supper and
soliciting contributions from the members.
The salary of the pastor, the Rev. J. E. Abernathy, was raised
to $1,000 and the presiding elder received about $150 from the
A GROWING CHURCH
Growth of the church was continuous during the early 1900s
and by 1914 the membership had reached 423. The Woman's
Missionary Society had 30 members and the Epworth League
organized in 1896 had a membership of 30.
In another two years the two small Sunday School rooms were
inadequate and classes were being held in the parsonage and the
public school. The Epworth League had been organized into junior
and senior groups with 20 members each and there were two
missionary societies with 50 members.
About this time the women were beginning to raise money for a
new church and the stewards were trying to settle on a site for a
Finally in 1921, with an enrollment of 496, the congregation was
rapidly outgrowing the seating capacity of the sanctuary. So, with
cash on hand, pledges and other assets, action was taken to build a
larger and more modern church with class rooms, dining room and
The congregation gathered for this picture following the last service held in the old
church in June, 1922 before construction was started on a new building.
A building committee composed of Dr. Thomas Stringfield, J. R.
Boyd, R. H. Blackwell, S. C. Satterthwaite, B. J. Sloan, Harden
Howell, J. M. Mock and S. H. Bushnell was named.
Then a controversy arose about the location of the new
building. One group, calling themselves "The Progressives," wanted
to build the new church on the corner of Main and Walnut Streets,
while other members, "The Conservatives" favored retaining the
old site on Haywood St.
The Rev. George D. Herman was pastor and he suggested that
each dollar pledged would entitle the donor to one vote in selecting
the location. The Conservatives won and machinery was set in
motion for building the new church on its present site. The hand-
made brick from the old church was used as back-up brick for the
Mr. Herman served the church for four years and the walls of
the new building were completed before he was succeeded in 1924
by the Rev. J. T. Mangum, who saw the work completed. Services
were held in the high school while the building was in progress.
The new church with a membership of 537 was completed in
1924 at a cost of $100,000. Mr. Herman preached the first sermon at
the morning service June 22, 1924 and the Rev. Walter West, who
preceded him as pastor, preached that night. The church was
dedicated in September, 1925 by Bishop Edwin D. Mouzon and the
Rev. J. T. Mangum presided.
The presiding elder was the Rev. P. W. Tucker, who succeeded
the Rev. R. S. Howie. Members of the board of stewards were J. L.
Stringfield, chairman, S. L. Stringfield, C. W. Miller, E. J. Robeson,
Fred Martin, J. R. Boyd, J. M. Long, E. J. Hyatt, James McLean,
Elmer McClure, Thomas Stringfield, James Atkins, H. J. Sloan, R.
H. Blackwell, Henry Gaddy, J. M. Mock, Jere Davis, Charles Miller,
Charles Badgett, 0. T. Alexander, Dr. C. H. McDowell, Guy Massie
and Roberts Boone.
S. C. Liner was Sunday School superintendent, Jere Davis was
treasurer, and John M. Queen was superintendent of the adult
department, R. 0. Edgerton was superintendent of the Young
People's Department, Miss Nannette Jones taught the seniors. Miss
Ruth Wyche taught the intermediates, Mrs. T. L. Gwyn, the juniors,
Mrs. Rufus Siler the primaries and Mrs. E. L. Withers taught the
The pastor's salary was raised to $4,000.00.
It is noted that the last couple married in the old church were
Hettie Mock and Guy Massie and the first couple married in the new
church were Mary Martin and Aaron Lynch.
Enhancing the beauty of the new sanctuary were the stained
glass windows given by church members in memory of loved ones. A
pipe organ was given by S. C. Satterthwaite, Jr., in honor of his
parents, Mr. and Mrs. S. C. Satterthwaite, both of whom were loyal
members of the church. He later gave carrillonic bells as an ad-
A NEW PARSONAGE
The same year the church was completed a lot on the east
side of Tate Street was purchased from Mr. and Mrs. Troy Wyche
for $1200 on which to build a parsonage.
Shortly thereafter building the new parsonage to replace the
small frame building below the church on Haywood Street became
an outstanding project. The church set out to raise $10,000 for
There were 599 church members at the time and the
Woman's Missionary Society had 58 members, divided into four
circles. One of the many projects of the women was serving lunch
to the Rotary Club every week, earning about $1,000 a year to go
to the parsonage fund.
Finally on April 13, 1931 the congregation voted unanimously
to begin construction of the parsonage and the following building
committee was named: E. J. Hyatt, J. R. Boyd, J. M. Long, Mrs.
Rufus Siler, Mrs. C. E. Ray, the Rev. Watson 0. Goode, who was
pastor at the time, and Bonner Ray, ex officio.
Added to the board of stewards were 0. T. Alexander, Henry
Gaddy, C. F. Kirkpatrick, J. M. Mock, N. W. Garrett, Bonner Ray,
Dr. Tom Stringfield, T. M. Sewell, E. J. Hyatt, Miss Margaret
Stringfield and Miss Bessie Boyd.
James Atkins, Jr. was district steward and Homer Henry
was general superintendent of the Sunday School.
The brick parsonage was completed in 1932 at a cost of
$12,000 and was furnished and equipped with modern con-
The Rev. Wade Johnson was assigned as pastor in 1932 and
the Rev. L. B. Hayes was presiding elder. Mrs. Rufus Siler and
Miss Bessie Boyd were added to the board of Christian Education
and Hugh Sloan was named Sunday School superintendent. The
Epworth League "enjoyed a good attendance."
In the fall of 1933 the Rev. Paul Hardin, Jr., who later
became a bishop of the South Carolina Conference, came to the
church and was pastor through two years of the Great
Depression. During his pastorate the Sunday School attendance
improved and the work of the women was "meritorious as usual."
The membership had increased to 488 but the preacher's salary
which had reached $4,000 a few years before, was only $2600.
Additions to the church property were a garage for the
parsonage, completed at a cost of $375, and the extension of the
brick wall in front of the church, which was the work of Ernest
During the pastorage of the Rev. R. S. Truesdale in 1937, W.
L. Hardin, Jr., J. Dale Stentz, Miss Bessie Boyd and B. F.
Smathers were added to the board of stewards. Mrs. Grover
Davis was president of the Woman's Missionary Society.
The following year, the Rev. J. G. iluggin, Jr. became pastor
and M, H. Bowles assumed the duties of Sunday School
superintendent. Church property was valued at $95,000.
A gift of offering plates was presented to the church that
year in memory of Clarence Watson Miller by his children,
Georgia M. Kirkpatrick, Robena Miller, Jane Miller Perry, S.^die
Miller Niles and David and Clarence Miller.
UNIFICATION OF METHODISTS
For many years the three independent branches of the
Methodist Church in the United States, the Methodist Protestant
Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Methodist
Episcopal Church South, worked toward unification.
This dream became a reality at a uniting conference held in
Kansas City, Missouri, April 26, 1939, when nearly eight million
Methodists became members of the Methodist Church of America.
Under this union, all horizons of the church were broadened.
The Woman's Missionary Society became the Woman's Society of
Christian Service, the Epworth League became the Methodist
Youth Fellowship and the Sunday School became only a part of
the church school program. Mrs. James Atkins, Jr. was the first
president of the Woman's Society and Mrs. T. Lenoir Gwyn and
Mrs. Rufus Siler organized a Wesleyan Service Guild.
In accordance with this larger vision, the First Methodist
Church in Waynesville prepared to extend its service, not only to
the congregation but to the community as a whole.
When the present church was built there were only two
rooms in the basement. These were the dining room (now the
Wesley Fellowship classroom) and a kitchen with side entrances.
The Rev. Clay Madison, who was appointed pastor in 1941,
immediately realized the need for additional classrooms and,
under his leadership, the basement was excuvated and five
classrooms with a hall and stairway from the narthex were built.
Another addition to the church came in 1944 when a tower
music system was installed by Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Massie in
memory of their son, Frank C. Massie.
THE BOYD CHAPEL
The Boyd Chapel in the basement of the church was built
soon after the end of World War II in honor and memory of Mr.
and Mrs. James R. Boyd by their children. It is also a memorial to
Lt. Thad 0. Chafin, Jr., grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Boyd, who was
killed in action in the service of his country in Germany,
November 22, 1944. The news of Lt. Chafin's death came
December 10, 1944, the same day that Mrs. Boyd (Sally Campbell
Miss Bessie Boyd, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Boyd, who had
been a Sunday School teacher and counselor for the Epworth
League for many years, conceived the idea for the chapel to be
used primarily for youth assemblies. It has since been used not
only for youth assemblies, but for any occasion when a smaller
sanctuary is needed.
Mr. Boyd died in September, 1949 and since that time the
Boyd family has remodeled, improved and refurnished the chapel.
A brass plate on the door bears the inscription, "In honor
and memory of our father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Boyd by
their children, September 5, 1947. Within the chapel a brass plate
is inscribed "In loving memory of Lt. Thad 0. Chafin, Jr., 1944."
The church acquired more property when a lot adjoining the
parsonage was purchased from Helen and Ruth Wyche in March,
1947 for $4,000.
Look Magazine, in an article published in 1952 entitled "What is a Methodist?",
featured the Waynesville First Methodist Church and all its activities. Shown here
are reprints from that magazine.
Methodist women prepare lunch for the meeting of a men's club, an ongoing fund-
raising project for many years. From left, they are Mrs. Graver Davis, Mrs. Annie
Massie, Mrs. Charles Burgin and Mrs. Kate Morris.
Mrs. W. L. Matney was
organist for the church from
1901 until 1956.
THE EDUCATION BUILDING
By the mid 1950s, the continued expansion of the church
program and the need for more space, especially for Sunday
School classes, prompted the official board to start a building
In October, 1956, during the four years of the Rev. Earl H.
Brendall's pastorate, the board agreed that thirty-five percent of
all collections should be set aside as a nucleus for a fund for an
An architect was contacted and a building committee was
appointed. The committee was composed of Rufus Siler, chairman,
Ben J. Sloan, Weaver Kirkpatrick, Mrs. David Hyatt, W. Hugh
Massie, Mrs. J. H. Woody, Mrs. Rufus Siler, Lawrence
Leatherwood, Mrs. Ben J. Sloan, Mrs. E. C. Wagenfeld and John
Hildenbiddle. Later Carl Ratcliffe and Tom Ray replaced John
Hildenbiddle, who moved away, and Weaver Kirkpatrick, who
died in 1958. Jonathan Woody was chairman of the board of
It was also during this period that the church accepted the
obligation of a $1,000 mission special for the Cullowhee Methodist
Mrs. W. L. Matney, who had served faithfully as church
organist from 1901, most of the years without salary, retired in
April, 1956. She was presented a certificate of appreciation and
the official board voted to continue the salary she was receiving
at the time. Mrs. Matney's daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth Calhoun, was
named to serve in her place until a permanent organist could be
A Bible, signed by all members of the First Methodist
Church, was presented to Grace Episcopal Church in the
Mountains October 6, 1957, when Grace Church dedicated a new
The Rev. R. Herman Nicholson was assigned to the church as
pastor in June, 1957, and work on the education building started
in earnest. A drive was launched in July, 1958 which resulted in
pledges amounting to $160,000.
Construction was started immediately and the building was
completed in late 1959 at a cost of $160,000. The cost of im-
provements on the lot amounted to $4,500 and the cost of fur-
nishings and classroom necessities was approximately $25,000,
bringing the total to $189,500. Another addition to the church
property was a parking lot on the corner of Academy and Tate
Streets, purchased for $15,000.
The cornerstone for the new education building was laid in a
ceremony held June 12, 1960, with Mr. Nicholson, the Rev. Frank
Smathers, district superintendent, and Rufus Siler, chairman of
the building committee participating. Encased in the cornerstone
were a history of the church, various church documents, a list of
the church members and members of the official board, church
publications and a copy of the local newspaper. The Mountaineer.
A tie with the past was preserved when the bell from the old
church was hung in the tower of the new building and was rung
each Sunday morning.
One room in the new building was set aside for a library in
memory of Mr. and Mrs. J. K. Boone and was furnished by
members of their family.
About the same time a ramp was built at the side of the
church in memory of James Manley Long by his wife, Leona
A GROWING CHURCH
Additions to the church staff were made in 1957 when Mrs.
Frank Moore was employed as secretary and Mrs. W. G. Parker
was employed to work with the Junior and Youth Choirs.
It was also during Mr. Nicholson's ministry that several
projects were started.
The first annual Pancake Festival, which was originated and
planned by Mrs. Rufus Siler as a project to raise funds to finance
equipment for the kitchen, was held April 22, 1958.
The project involved both men and women of the church with
Carl Ratcliffe as chairman of the men's division, Mrs. Hugh
Massie in charge of the women's division, and Mrs. Carl Ratcliffe
in charge of tickets.
Mrs. Siler continued to serve as general chairman until
The Rev. J. E. Yountz receives young members into the church.
Church members dress in costumes of the past for a special service in 1976 in ob-
servance of the Nation's 200th birthday.
illness forced her to step down in 1972. She was succeeded by her
niece, Mrs. Charles Way, who had assumed the chairmanship of
the women's division in 1961. Charles Way became chairman of
the men's division in 1960.
Another special program which raised the spiritual tone of
the church was the organization of cottage prayer groups. Mr.
Nicholson spoke to these groups by radio as they met in homes of
members over all the community.
Mrs, Gerald Schoonover became the first full time minister of
music in 1960, serving as choir director and organist.
Under Mr. Nicholson's guidance, new emphasis was given to
stewardship, and tithing. A fund raising program was started in
which the entire congregation met for a Loyalty Dinner on a
given night each year and made pledges for the continued work of
The church also began exercising some missionary vision by
pledging $1,000 a year for five years to Faith Methodist Church.
Contributions were made to missions in Koulon Church, the
Belgian Congo, Sarawa, Alaska University, MCOR and district
missions. A contribution of $500 was made toward the con-
struction of a chapel in the Haywood County Hospital and the
Youth Fellowship engaged in furnishing a prayer room at the
Membership enrollment reached 841 during the conference
year 1961-62. Mrs. Carl Ratcliffe and Mrs. Howard Bryson were
elected to the board of stewards, W. H. Massie was district
steward and Carl Ratcliffe was superintendent of the Church
At a quarterly conference in December 1961, James W.
Fowler HI was recommended to be licensed to preach.
Special gifts to the church during this period included brass
altarware — a cross, candlesticks and vases — in memory of Mrs.
Charles Edwin Ray, Sr. (nee Minnie Shelton), given by her
daughter, Katharine Ray Watkins.
Offering plates in memory of William Arthur Hyatt were
given by his son and daughter-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. David Hyatt.
Paraments for the communion table and lectern were given
in memory of Mary Lou Moody Garrett by her husband, Noble
Garrett and their children.
Storm windows and doors for the parsonage were given by
Johnny and Lena Ferguson.
In 1962 Martha Griffin was employed as the first full time
Christian Education assistant.
Also in 1962 the official board passed a resolution to mail the
church bulletin to each church family and this service has con-
tinued to be helpful especially to shut-ins who appreciate knowing
what is happening in the church.
Toward the end of Mr. Nicholson's full six-year ministry, the
parsonage was repaired and remodeled with work completed in
time for the Rev. Horwood Myers and his family to occupy it in
Other activities within the church during this period included
sponsorship of scout troops for girls and boys with leadership
provided by church members. Playground equipment was also
provided for the kindergarten.
An addition to the church was made by Mr. and Mrs. Johnny
Ferguson when they decorated the room next to the Boyd chapel
as a place for meditation.
During Mr. Myers' pastorate the church added to missions by
providing half the funds for support of the Rev. and Mrs.
Raymond DeHainaut, missionaries to Brazil.
The Spare Time Club for senior citizens was organized in
1965 under the direction of Mrs. Gerald Schoonover, chairman of
the Commission on Christian Social Concerns, as an in-
terdenominational community project.
A red letter day came June 13, 1965, when a note-burning
service was held to mark the cancellation of indebtedness on the
education building. Dr. Clay Madison delivered the dedicatory
sermon with Mr. Myers presiding.
The building was formally dedicated by Dr. Herman
Nicholson on November 7, 1965.
The following year Mrs. Betty Lopez was employed as
educational assistant and a memorial fund was established for the
purchase of a new organ.
Another new program was started when the church entered
a group participation plan with the Red Cross Bloodmobile by
which all members were entitled to receive blood when needed.
The Rev, Robert Rawls succeeded Mr. Myers as pastor in
In October, 1968, the church conducted one of its most im-
portant and rewarding programs — a Lay Witness Mission. This
involved youth and adults as individuals, and groups of deeply
dedicated people who came to the church and related their special
experiences of meeting and serving their Lord. The effects of this
program have continued as members meet in study and prayer
groups and witness to their love of God.
One of the outstanding evangelistic programs was brought to
the membership by Dr. Reginald Mallett of England. This out-
standing minister came in 1971 and again in 1975 for five-day
periods of inspirational messages of hope and challenge. The
mission of the church seemed to receive new impetus in both
foreign and local areas.
Youth reached out into the community and completely
renovated a house for a needy family and many members
volunteered their services for a much needed county tran-
sportation program which enabled many people to attend clinics
and visit doctor's offices.
The church employed Mrs. Santiago Lopez as coordinator for
the volunteer program and she was able to enlist additional
volunteers from other churches to serve the people in their
immediate locale. The new Mental Health unit received special
funding from the church and one member, Mrs. Margaret Pilarski,
leased her property for $1 a year in order to make this wor-
thwhile program more available to the public.
A contribution of $300 was made by the church to help
support a tutoring program at the Pigeon Street school.
Also receiving additional funding was a newly organized local
mission entitled the Haywood Cooperative Christian Ministry
which had become a real asset to the underprivileged people in
the county. The national and world mission endeavors continued
to grow in Japan, Korea and the Cherokee Indian Reservation as
the church assumed support for more workers and assistance in
building new churches.
A NEW ERA
A new era in church history began in 1968 when the General
Conference of the Methodist Church met in Dallas, Texas, with
the Evangelical United Brethren and, after much deliberation,
voted to unite with this group to become the United Methodist
Hugh Massie, who had served as lay delegate from the
Western North Carolina conference to General and Jurisdictional
Conferences of the Methodist Church from 1956 to 1972, was a lay
delegate to the Dallas Conference.
This unification changed the entire structure of the church
and brought about many changes at the local level.
The official board was renamed and became the Ad-
ministrative Board; the Woman's Society of Christian Service
became United Methodist Women; and the Sunday School
superintendent became the chairman of the Church Study
The commissions were replaced by committees and task
forces and a Council on Ministries was formed that included work
area chairmen of youth, children, adult and family life, and
committees on mission education, membership and evangelism,
and music and worship.
The function of the Council on Ministries was to give the
committees a unified planning body.
CHOIR LOFT RENOVATED
In 1970 approval was given for much needed renovation of
the choir loft and sanctuary and the purchase of an organ. New
pulpit furniture was given by Mr. and Mrs. Harry Frehn in
memory of Mrs. Frehn's parents, Mr. and Mrs. R. H. Blackwell.
An important addition to the music ministry was the
organization in 1972 of a handbell choir. The initial handbells
were given by groups and individuals as a memorial to Dr.
Thomas Stringfield H and additional bells necessary for a full
choir were later given in memory of Mrs. Rufus Siler. Pam
Parrish, who was educational assistant, assumed the respon-
sibility of directing the bell ringers.
The Rev. Bernard Hurley came to the church as pastor in
June, 1971 and under his leadership the church continued to grow
in membership and stewardship. New world mission was un-
dertaken in Chile and the Philippines and local mission was ex-
During the summer of 1972 Mr. Hurley exchanged pulpits
with the Rev. A. P. Horner of England — an exchange that
proved valuable not only in terms of spiritual enrichment but also
of individual pleasure to the ministers' families. The exchange
served as an additional bridge for understanding the witness of
A new organization called "WHO" (We Help Others) was
formed in 1973 under the direction of Mrs. R. K. Butler. This
group has continued to meet each Thursday in the fellowship hall
for luncheon and a good time. The members have sewn various
articles for rest homes from donated material and, since its origin,
the group has distributed hundreds of articles throughout the
The beauty and safety of the church were increased in 1974
when Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Woody remodeled the front of the
building with new steps, lights and shrubbery.
Memorial gifts at this time were a Bible stand given by their
children in honor of Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Bradley on their 50th
wedding anniversary, September 7, 1973; and two brass altar
vases given by Mrs. James Michaels in memory of her parents,
Mr. and Mrs. R. H. Blackwell.
A station wagon was donated to the church by the trustees
and interested friends, who voted to make it available for youth,
the kindergarten and the WHO group.
CHANGES AND ADDITIONS
Dr. Larry Wilkinson was appointed minister of the church in
1976 and under his leadership the church continued to initiate
new services and gain new members to reach a total of 1078.
Changes in personnel came with the retirement of Mrs.
Frank Moore, church secretary-treasurer, and her replacement by
Mrs. L. D. Atkins, Jr.
The Rev. Lloyd D. Bolt of Lake Junaluska, a retired member
of the South Carolina Conference, became the church's first
minister of visitation and Mrs. Marie Duncan was employed as
the first church hostess.
Mrs. Betty Lou Stroud was named director of music and
youth to replace Frank Calhoun, who had retired after eight
years as director of music to accept a position at the First United
Methodist Church in Winter Park, Fla.
A new program was started when the church began recor-
ding Sunday morning services on tapes to be taken to shut-ins in
order that they could participate in the worship in their homes.
The Work Area on Evangelism initiated a program by which
volunteers were assigned five church families each to take under
their watch care.
In the spring of 1977 Mr. and Mrs. William M. Cobb went to
London, England, to attend a ceremony commemorating the
laying of the foundation stone for the restoration of Wesley's
Chapel and to present a love offering of more than $1,000 from
the First United Methodist Church to go into the restoration
fund. Methodists all over the world responded to the drive for
funds for the restoration which generated $1,100,000.
When the completed chapel was reopened and dedicated in
November, 1978 in the presence of Queen Elizabeth, the
Waynesville First United Methodist Church was represented by
Dr. and Mrs. Joe Hale and their son, Jeff; Dr. and Mrs. Lee Tuttle
and the Rev. Russell L. Young.
In the spring of 1979 the congregation welcomed Miss
Christine Anderson, an English exchange student from Cornwall,
England, and a licensed local preacher of the British Methodist
Church. During her visit of several months. Miss Anderson
visited in homes of church members and endeared herself to the
church as a whole. She worked with the youth and assisted Dr.
Wilkinson at regular services.
Pledges were also made by church members to the Givens
Estate, a United Methodist retirement community established in
Additional service beyond the local church was given by
groups who joined work teams in Puerto Rico and Panama where
they helped build new churches or restore old ones.
These groups included Mr. and Mrs. Paul Bryson, Mrs.
Charles Gidney and her daughter, Martha Gidney, Mr. and Mrs.
Lawrence Leatherwood, Mrs. Dick Moody, Howard Williams,
Howard Bryson and Marvin Culbreth, some of whom have made
more than one trip.
In June, 1979, the Waynesville United Methodist Church
again experienced the United Methodist system of itinerate
ministry when a change of ministers occurred.
Dr. Wilkinson, who had served the church for three years,
was appointed superintendent of the North Wilkesboro District
and two new ministers were appointed to succeed him.
The Rev. Kelley R. Jones, who had previously served in the
Charlotte and High Point Districts, became the senior minister of
the Waynesville church and the Rev. David Fussell, who had just
graduated from the Candler School of Theology, became the
church's first associate minister to provide additional service to
the growing congregation. Mr. Fussell was assigned the major
responsibility for ministry to youth.
Under Mr. Jones' leadership the church has continued to
experience growth in membership and development of ministries.
A renewed emphasis on evangelism has sed to greater in-
^^olvement of lay persons in visitation of prospective members.
Since June, 1979, 91 new members have been received, bringing
the total membership to 1103.
Mr. Jones has also led a renewal of emphasis on Sunday
School membership with a campaign based on the theme "Sunday
School — Make It Live."
Another program recently started is the renewal of the
Membership Caring Ministry, with the entire membership
organized into 43 Caring Fellowship units. The units vary from
The Church in 1981
six to twelve families grouped geographically for caring support
and ministering together.
The stewardship of giving has also grown each year. In 1979
the church budget was $160,000; in 1980 the budget was $196,000;
and for 1981 the pledged budget is $217,000.
In addition the congregation accepted and pledged $27,314
over a three-year period as a part of the Annual Conference
Campaign for Ministers' Pensions.
The church continues to support Mr. and Mrs. David Swain,
missionaries to Japan, which was started a number of years ago.
A special event in the life of the church occurred May 24,
1980 when needlepoint altar kneeling cushions were dedicated to
the Glory of God in memory of W. Hugh Massie in appreciation of
his years of devotion, generosity, service and loyalty to the First
United Methodist Church. The cushions, with designs depicting
the Life of Christ, were presented to the church by Mrs. Hugh
Massie, her son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Way,
and their children. Chuck, Linda and Harriett Way, and friends.
The needlepoint was the handwork of women and men of the
church and friends of other churches.
Mr. Massie, who died January 7, 1978 had been a leader in
the church for many years and had held offices in all levels of
Another memorial to Mr. Massie is a painting of Lake
Junaluska by Frances Layfield given by Wesley Fellowship
Sunday School Class of which he was a member. The painting
hangs in the class room.
On March 8, 1981 the congregation voted to purchase the
Smith property next door to the church on Haywood Street at a
cost of $42,000. Almost half the needed amount came from a
$15,000 bequest from the late Mrs. Thad Howell with the
stipulation that the money should be used for the purchase of
The congregation agreed that the property was needed, not
only for additional church facilities, but as a protection from what
might become undesirable neighbors.
Throughout his ministry Mr. Jones has stressed concern for
a balanced ministry and mission, leading the church to become
involved in every area of opportunity with global ministries and
social action given important priority. The church is well
organized with strong leadership in every work area.
Of equal importance is the Sunday morning worship service
and the preaching of the Word of God. Mr. Jones has stressed the
importance of the Advent and Lenten seasons with additional
services on Christmas Eve, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and
It was at Mr. Jones' suggestion that the year 1981 be set
apart as a celebration of the church's sesquicentennial, marking
150 years of continuous ministry in Waynesville.
The twenty-third annual Pancake Day, which seems to grow
larger every year, was held February 24, 1981.
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Way, who have continued their work
throughout the years, were again in the key positions — Mrs.
Way serving as general chairman and Mr. Way serving as
chairman of the men's division. Mrs. Paul Blackwell continued her
work as ticket chairman.
This event is not only the largest fund-raising project in the
church year, it is an event that involves all church members
working together in a great time of fellowship.
Each year more than 325 members of the church have con-
tributed a minimum of one hour of their time as volunteer
workers on Pancake Day. The effort has the complete support of
the church as well as the community and has been the means of
raising several thousand dollars. In the first four years the
women bought more than $3,500 worth of equipment for the new
kitchen in the education building. Since then money has been
given to many local needs as well as mission needs on the national
and world level.
Gross receipts have increased from around $650 in 1958 to
mtfre than $3,400 in 1981 and the number of people served has
increased from a few hundred in 1958 to more than 2,000 in 1981.
It is interesting to note that 10,000 pancakes, 26 gallons of
syrup, 300 pounds of sausage and 170 pounds of bacon were
served in 1981 along with 60 pounds of margarine, 1800 cups of
coffee, 15 pounds of sugar, 900 half-pints of milk and more than 10
gallons of milk for coffee.
The success of Pancake Day can be attributed to hard work
on the part of church members, the response of the public, and
contributions by local merchants and manufacturers of food
The Sunday School, always a vital part of the church, offers
programs for all age groups from the pre-school child to adults
with able and dedicated teachers. Mrs. Santiago Lopez is
Enrollment in the pre-school Sunday morning groups totals
47 including the crib nursery, A planned program is provided
from 9:45 a.m. until noon with the assistance of a paid worker and
volunteers from the older Elementary and Youth Divisions.
Forty-four boys and girls in grades one through six make up
the Elementary Division. Sometimes the department is broken
down into age levels for study and at other times the department
worships as a unit, breaking into interest groups for study.
The Youth Program, involving seventh through twelfth grade
youth is basically two-pronged, including Sunday School and the
United Methodist Youth Fellowship.
The Sunday School class of Junior High youth is taught by
George Denmark, who blends object lessons with a biblical
foundation, using a lecture/discussion format to give factual in-
formation and help the class members see the practical ap-
plication of their Christian faith. The goal of the class is to expose
Junior High Youth to the basic teachings of Christianity.
The Senior High Class is taught by Charles Penland, who
strives to meet the young people where they are and challenge
them to consider the impact of the Christian faith on their lives.
Through different approaches of learning from lectures to making
banners, to discussing God and the "Top 40" hit songs of the day,
they are striving to work out a faith that will be a vital part of
UMYF meetings are held Sunday evenings under the
direction of David Fussell, beginning with a snack supper
provided by different parents from week to week. The meal is
followed by a recreation period including various games showing
team spirit and group identity.
The junior and senior groups usually divide for their
programs of study, service and worship in an informal at-
The groups enjoy retreats, recreational outings as well as
helping with service projects such as contributing to world
hunger or visiting in rest homes. Through all their activities the
youth experiences what it means to work and play together as a
community of faith. They have many opportunities to interact
with each other and with adult counselors as they seek to find
themselves and their place in the world.
In the summer of 1980, four members of the United
Methodist Youth — James Inman, Robin Walker, Peter Martin
and Chuck Reece — with David and Melanie Fussell as their
leaders, spent two weeks in England and attended the In-
ternational Christian Youth Conference in Truro, Cornwall,
At the conference, attended by youth from 47 countries, they
experienced a week of Christian instruction, fellowship and
worship under the leadership of international evangelists.
They also were privileged to worship at Wesley's Chapel and
visit Gwennap Pit, a natural outdoor amphitheatre near the coal
mines of Southwest, England where John Wesley often preached
During their second week in England the group participated
in a Wesley Heritage Tour which included Wesley's birthplace
and childhood home at Epworth and a number of other important
Methodist historical sites.
The trip proved to be a tremendous opportunity for spiritual
growth, insight and understanding of Methodist heritage.
There are seven adult Sunday School classes with an
enrollment of 246.
The Young Adult class offers fellowship and study for college
students and others in this age group who are pursuing careers.
The class meets in an informal, comfortable setting on the ground
floor of the church under the sanctuary.
The Covenant Class is an open discussion type group that
gives members the opportunity to be active participants in
learning about the Bible and its affect on their lives. Leadership
is shared among the class members with occasional outside
resource persons participating. Dr. Clarice Bowman is resource
The Upper Room Class is an informal discussion group led by
class members and is open to all ages. Reflecting on materials
chosen by the group, the members share their faith, doubts,
hopes, fears, opinions and experiences.
The Faith Class held in the Boyd Chapel appeals to all ages,
who meet for the purpose of hearing and studying God's word. It
is a lecture type class, taught by Ruth Curtis and Matt Howell.
The Asbury Class includes ages from 35 to 60, but anyone is
welcome regardless of age. Four teachers share the leadership on
a quarterly basis, using the International Sunday School Series.
The teachers are Mrs. David Satterfield, Mrs. J. K. Stringfield,
Mrs. Howard Williams, and the Rev. Robert Martin.
The Marietta Way Bible Class, formed many years ago by
women interested in Bible study and discussion, is taught by Miss
Joe Davis and Lawrence Leatherwood alternate as teachers
of the Men's Bible Class that meets in the Boyd Annex.
The Wesley Fellowship Class is composed of 60 married
couples and single men and women ranging in age from 50 up.
The first part of the class session is taken up with enthusiastic
hymn singing, prayer and sharing interests and concerns about
class members. The teaching-learning portion of the class time
combines teaching and the scriptures, essentially by the lecture
Mrs. Howard Bryson is the regular teacher with Mrs. Mark
Rose and Mrs. Francis Cunningham as substitutes. The class is
also fortunate in having several retired ministers and their wives
who teach at intervals and contribute greatly to the learning
A special offering is taken the first Sunday of each month to
be used for some charitable project in the church or community.
SUNDAY SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS
1917-1918 E. J. Robeson 1932-1938 Hugh J. Sloan
1918-1920 J. M. Mock 1939-1956 M. H. Bowles
1921-1923 A. C. Reynolds 1957-1961 Carl Ratcliffe
1924-1929 Hugh J. Sloan 1961-1968 Charles Way
1930-1931 Homer Henry
In 1959, after the education building was completed, the church
took over the weekday kindergarten which had been operated in the
church by Mrs. E. K. Herman as a private institution.
Mrs. Hollis Chase was named director-teacher and with two
other staff members served approximately 40 children.
The program has grown continuously and in 1981 serves 120
children, ages three to five, with a staff of eight teachers plus a full
time director, Mrs. Oliver Yount, who has directed the work since
The kindergarten program was enlarged in 1978 to include day
The Ministry of Music, under the direction of Betty Lou
Hubbard, plays an important role in all services of the church.
The Chancel Choir, made up of ten sopranos, ten altos, six
tenors and ten bases, presents outstanding anthems each Sunday
morning, leading the congregation to a worshipful attitude.
In addition the choir, under the direction of Mrs. Hubbard with
Dr. Betsy Farlow as organist, presents special music for occasions
such as Christmas and Easter. The choir celebrated Christmas, 1980
with the Christmas portion of Handel's "Messiah" and presented
the Easter portion in April, 1981.
The Youth Choir is made up of a small but enthusiastic group of
teenagers, who both sing and play handbells for several services
during the year, under the direction of Mr. and Mrs. William
The Treble Choir of fourth, fifth and sixth graders not only
learns songs to sing in church, but also learns the rudiments of
First, second and third graders form the Cherub Choir, which
sings in church services occasionally during the year.
The Adult Handbell Choir, composed of the most advanced
handbell players, is an inspiring addition to frequent morning
services and special programs.
UNITED METHODIST WOMEN
Throughout the years women of the First United Methodist
Church have continued and broadened the work started by the first
small group that organized the Women's Missionary Society in 1879.
With the leadership of many dedicated and outstanding leaders
they have supported the church in all its endeavors.
The organization of United Methodist Women has a total today
(April, 1981) of 226 members, who make up eight Christian Service
groups. The groups meet once a month and contribute funds to the
UMW. The largest contribution goes to missions. Offerings also go
to Brooks Howell Retirement Home, Haywood Christian Ministries,
the Conference Scholarship Fund, Membership Pins and other
The women are no longer limited in opportunity as they were in
the early days. In 1981 the Administrative Board includes 19 women
among its 52 at-large members.
Within the past 10 years women of First United Methodist
Church have been elected to the previously all-male positions of Lay
Leader, Chairperson of the Finance Committee, Chairperson of the
Administrative Board, delegate to the Annual Conference and
Chairperson of the Trustees. Women have served faithfully and well
as chairpersons of committees on Worship, Education, Evangelism
and Mission and the Staff-Parish Relations Committee.
Women in the church have served effectively as committee
members, as handbell ringers, as greeters at the 11 o'clock worship
services and as members of the Altar Committee responsible for
beautiful and inspiring worship settings.
In addition, women from the Waynesville First United
Methodist Church have served in district offices for a number of
years through the United Methodist Women and more recently as a
part of the Waynesville Council on Ministries. Women from the
church also serve on Western North Carolina Conference boards.
UNITED METHODIST MEN
An important organization within the church is the United
Methodist Men's Fellowship.
The men meet the second Sunday in each month in the
fellowship hall for breakfast prepared by one of the group's
For programs they take advantage of talent within the church
and the community. The diversified presentations include guest
musicians and talks by resource persons from agencies concerned
with the welfare of the community. At other times the hour is
devoted to fellowship and discussion of church needs.
The group's main objectives are mission, ministry projects,
fellowship and assisting with maintenance of the church property.
For several years the church has sponsored a softball team for
men 16 years and older.
The team is affiliated with the Haywood Church Softball
League and plays against other teams in the league twice a week
during the months of June, July and August.
Approximately 25 players enjoy this sport and have made a
good showing in the league standings.
First United Methodist Church has been involved in and
strongly supportive of scouting with church members providing
At present the church sponsors a Girl Scout troop and a Cub
Scout Pack. The Rev. Kelley Jones serves as Cubmaster.
IN THE COUNTRY'S SERVICE
Numerous members of the First United Methodist
congregation have responded to their country's needs during its
several wars and have served in the armed forces with valor and
Those who made the supreme sacrifice in World Wars I and II
and the Korean Conflict were Hunter Blackwell, Zeb Curtis, Jr.,
Thad Chafin, Joe Vance Davis, David Himes, Owen Hudson, Ken
Palmer, David Stentz and James Queen.
As this history of the Waynesville First United Methodist
Church goes to the printer (April, 1981), the church is near the
halfway mark in its sesquicentennial year.
The celebration began January 4, 1981 when the Rev. Kelley
Jones, minister, and George Denmark, chairman of the
Sesquicentennial Committee, introduced plans for a 12-month ob-
The plans called for special services involving former
ministers, music and pageantry and the publication of a church
Thus far, the former ministers participating have been the Rev.
Horwood Myers, now retired and living in Waynesville, who served
as lector at a regular worship service; Bishop Paul Hardin, Jr., now
retired and living at Lake Junaluska, who spoke at a March family
night dinner relating his memories of the ups and downs of the
years he was here during the Depression; and Dr. Herman
Nicholson, who gave reminiscences of his six years at the church
and also gave an inspiring talk at an evening service March 29.
Other former ministers will speak at later dates, not yet deter-
Still ahead is Sesquicentennial Sunday, May 24 with Bishop
Scott Allen as the speaker at the morning service. The service will
be followed by a church-yard picnic.
A Sesquicentennial pageant is scheduled during the month of
October and a Great Day of singing is on the program Oct. 18.
An "Old Fashioned Christmas" is planned for the December 20
All of the programs are creating interest and anticipation. For
some members the Sesquicentennial is a time for remembering life-
long ties with the church. For others its an opportunity to learn
more about the history of their adopted church home.
For the church as a whole it is a time to build for a strong
tomorrow, as Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippians: "This one
thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching
forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark
for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (3:13, 14)
A Hymn of Celebration
Composed for the observance of
Sesquicentennial Sunday, May 24, 1981
Words by Kelley R. Jones Music by Dr. Maurice We
Chorus: Celebration! Celebration! This is the year of Celebratic
A year of rejoicing, a year of praise,
Thanksgiving and glory to God we raise!
1. God has created this church to be
In mission and in ministry;
For He alone did give it birth
To serve mankind throughout the earth.
2. Yonder in her pure infancy,
A little struggling babe to be sure;
God's plan was for this church to grow
And throughout centuries long endure.
3. Despite the difficulty and pain.
Hardy believers chose to remain
Ever faithful to God's call divine.
Each generation has marched in line
Long and glorious reaching through time.
4. Through these years the church has met
The urgent problem of the time.
Often the task too g^eat, and yet
The people sought God's way to find.
5. Today a mighty fortress she stands,
Founded on the rock of Christ
Secure in His strong hand.
Forward we're going, onward we move,
Saved by God's mercy, charged by His love.
6. A sweet bond of unity, a oneness we claim.
The temptation to retreat we truly disdain.
Our pledge to God's future, we make without fear
For God leads us onward year after year.
7. On this bright day a new vision we hold^
Our purpose to serve is valiant and bold.
God's Holy Spirit will lead us along
Until we sing God's victory song.
PRESIDENTS — WOMEN'S MISSIONARY SOCIETY
Mrs. E. Edwards
Mrs. E. H. Bogle
Mrs. S. F. Ferguson
Mrs. J. M.Tate
Mrs. W. B. Ferguson
Mrs. H. M. Rogers
Mrs. G.H. West
Mrs. Emma Willis
Mrs. E. J. Robeson
Mrs. J. H. Way
Mrs. A. C. Reynolds
Mrs. Tom Mangum
Mrs. P. W. Tucker
WOMEN'S SOCIETY OF CHRISTIAN SERVICE
Mrs. James Atkins
Mrs. J. Harden Howell
Mrs. J. Dale Stentz
Mrs. Noble Garrett
Mrs. Bonner Ray
Mrs. Henry Gaddy
Mrs. Carl Ratcliffe
Mrs. E. G. Wagenfeld
Mrs. Wallace Nave
Mrs. Lloyd Warren
Mrs. Hugh Massie
Mrs. James K. Stringfield
Mrs. Lawrence Leatherwood
Mrs. Ray Ellis
UNITED METHODIST WOMEN
Mrs. Russell Young, Jr.
Mrs. James K. Stringfield
Mrs. Edward Broadwell
Mrs. Joe Hale
Mrs. Rufus Siler
Mrs. Lewis Green
Mrs. Oliver Yount
Mrs. Myrtle Little
Mrs. Tom Zinavage
WAYNESVILLE CIRCUIT -
■ ASHEVILLE DISTRICT
A. G. Worley
Raffail W. Pally
Benjamin H. White
W. Bruce and
Benjamin H. White
Wiley F. Parker
Wiley F. Parker
Alexander F. English
B. F. Wills
J. W. Bird
James R. Long
Reuben K. Ketron
George W. K. Green and
J. R. Bellamy
William Hicks, president
of Richland Institute
A. B. Broyles and
D. R. Reagan
J. W. Thompson
James R. Long
J. W. Thompson and
James R. Ballew
Robert W. Pickens
William H. Cooper and
Ulrich Keener and
one to be supplied
1865-1868 Thomas F. Glenn 1872 C.E.Wiggins
1868 J. W. Bird 1873 C.E.Wiggins
1869-1870 Joseph H. Wiggins 1874-1878 William M. Kerr
1871 C.B.Fugate 1878-1881 E.H. Bogle
W. A. Thomas
1885 D. H. Dickey
William C. Garden
T. R. Handy
1889-1890 G. W. Jackson
G. W. Simpson
WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA CONFERENCE
P. L. Grooms 1894 D.H.Coman
J.E.Gaye 1895-1896 R. D. Sherrill
J. E. Abernathy
Marshall A. Smith
J. H. Earnhardt
Walter B. West
George D. Herman
Paul Hardin, Jr.
R. S. Truesdale
J. G.Huggins, Jr.
J. Clay Madison
Russell L. Young
Earl H. Brendall
R. H. Nicholson
Robert J. Ralls
J. Bernard Hurley
Larry D. Wilkinson
Kelley R. Jones and
LAY DELEGATES TO
WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA ANNUAL CONFERENCE
1919 J. M. Mock
1920 No Listing
1924 John A. Taylor
1925-1931 James Atkins
1932 Homer Henry
1933-1937 James Atkins
1942 Mrs. J.DaleStentz
1952 W. Hugh Massie - H. B. Angel, alternate
1953-1957 W. Hugh Massie - N. J. Tucker, alternate
W. Hugh Massie — Herbert Gibson, alternate
W. Hugh Massie — M. H. Bowles, alternate
W, Hugh Massie — Lloyd Warren, alternate
W. Hugh Massie — Dr. Frank Hammett, alternate
W. Hugh Massie
W. Hugh Massie — Harvey M. Dulin, alternate
W. Hugh Massie — Joe Davis, alternate
Dr. J. Frank Hammett, Enos Boyd, G. Dewey Stovall,
W. Hugh Massie — Dr. J. Frank Hammett, C. Jeff
W. Hugh Massie — Dr. J. Frank Hammett, alternate
W. Hugh Massie — C.Jeff Reece, alternate
C.Jeff Reece — Charles Way
C.Jeff Reece — Charles Way
C. Jeff Reece — Mrs. James Stringfield (delegates)
C. Jeff Reece — Mrs. James K. Stringfield
WAYNESVILLE DISTRICT LAY LEADERS
from FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
1972-1974 C.Jeff Reece
1975-1976 C. Jeff Reece - Charles Way, Associate District Lay
1977-1981 Charles B. Way
LAY LEADERS OF FIRST METHODIST CHURCH
J. Dale Stentz
N. W. Garrett
J. M. Mock
J. M. Mock
John A. Taylor
M. H. Bowles
John A. Taylor
J. R. Boyd
Oscar C. Brock
Mrs. Dale Stentz
Mrs. James K. Stringfield
DEMCO 38-297 ,
Duke University Libraries